Inactive tortoise

antwillis81

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Hi all

I’m a first time tortoise owner, and have had Albi for around 2 yrs. he is still very small and hasn’t grown at all since we bought him, but everyone who has seen him has said that he is a very healthy weight, so are not too worried....

My concern has come over the last few days, he’s become very inactive, hasn’t really moved, eaten, or anything for around 4 days now. I’m bathing him twice a day now for 20-30 minutes a time once with critical care powder mixed in as directed by the local reptile centre... he moves around a little bit, but doesn’t open his eyes... anyone have any ideas? Is this normal? Or should I get him to a vet?

Any advice will be greatfully received.

Thanks
Ant
 

Lyn W

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Personally I would see a vet.
I have had a similar problem with my Leopard who is bigger and older than yours and still eating a little.
They took blood, and did an x ray to check for kidney stones etc.
Is he passing any urates or poop? If so take a sample of poop to be tested for parasites.
I tried warm baby organic carrot food soaks, and the vet gave me some Reptoboost to add to his soak, but that is not to be used long term.
Make sure you see a vet who has experience of tortoises, and many people here would tell you not to let the vet do a vitamins jab.
It won't be cheap but sounds like he is in trouble.
I'm sure lots of experienced keepers will have valuable advice for you here, but as Wellington says they need more details about him and his home. Make sure he is warm enough. The caresheets in Species Specific will tell you about temps, etc.
Hope he is OK.
 

Lyn W

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How is your little tort?
Did you see a vet?
 

antwillis81

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Hi all

Still no change, he’s moving around a little, still his eye won’t open :( details below -

He’s only 6cm in length, we’ve had him nearly 2 yrs and the shop said that he was approx 1 year old when we bought him...

He’s in a tortoise table 3ft by 1.5ft, with a exo terra lamp, 100 watt? Temp directly beneath the lamp is around 38c at night it gets down to around 20c, I e recently removed a heat mat from his little room where he sleeps.

He eats mainly mixed salad, we do include calcium powder every now and then, and he has tortoise diet pellets a few times a week...

He’s usually pretty active, we get him out and let him wander around the house /garden once a week most weeks.

Earlier this week his weight was at 54 grams, and we weighed him again today and his weight has gone up to 55 grams, which is bizarre as he hasn’t eaten! Although he has had lots of baths lately, so could be extra water weight I guess?

I hope that’s enough info.... he’s having his 2nd bath of the day now, he seems to be moving around a bit more, but still his eyes are shut! :(

image.jpg
 

Lyn W

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Hi all

Still no change, he’s moving around a little, still his eye won’t open :( details below -

He’s only 6cm in length, we’ve had him nearly 2 yrs and the shop said that he was approx 1 year old when we bought him...

He’s in a tortoise table 3ft by 1.5ft, with a exo terra lamp, 100 watt? Temp directly beneath the lamp is around 38c at night it gets down to around 20c, I e recently removed a heat mat from his little room where he sleeps.

He eats mainly mixed salad, we do include calcium powder every now and then, and he has tortoise diet pellets a few times a week...

He’s usually pretty active, we get him out and let him wander around the house /garden once a week most weeks.

Earlier this week his weight was at 54 grams, and we weighed him again today and his weight has gone up to 55 grams, which is bizarre as he hasn’t eaten! Although he has had lots of baths lately, so could be extra water weight I guess?

I hope that’s enough info.... he’s having his 2nd bath of the day now, he seems to be moving around a bit more, but still his eyes are shut! :(
Please see a reptile vet - it could be a kidney stone and that could kill him if it is too big for him to pass, so he may need an xray. I recently met a couple in a vets with a tort slightly bigger than your's and he had a large stone he couldn't pass.
Or if he is wandering around the house he could have swallowed something he shouldn't so the xray will show that if that's happened.
Is his lamp a source of uvb like the MVBs or just a basking lamp or daylight spot?
 

antwillis81

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Slight update...... he seems to be very active in this bath and keeps running his eyes and making a little squeak sound.... is this a good sign? I feel so helpless !!
 

Lyn W

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*rubbing his eyes
Is your bulb coiled or a cfl loop type?
They have a reputation for damaging torts eyes so if your's is like either of those then you will need to change it asap.
What sort of substrate are you using?
He could have some of it in his eyes.
Maybe try to rinse his eyes with a little saline solution that contact lens wearers use but the more experienced may be able to recommend something else and you may still need a vet to prescribe an eye cream.
 

antwillis81

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Please see a reptile vet - it could be a kidney stone and that could kill him if it is too big for him to pass, so he may need an xray. I recently met a couple in a vets with a tort slightly bigger than your's and he had a large stone he couldn't pass.
Or if he is wandering around the house he could have swallowed something he shouldn't so the xray will show that if that's happened.
Is his lamp a source of uvb like the MVBs or just a basking lamp or daylight spot?
Yes uvb lamp
Is your bulb coiled or a cfl loop type?
They have a reputation for damaging torts eyes so if your's is like either of those then you will need to change it asap.
What sort of substrate are you using?
He could have some of it in his eyes.
Maybe try to rinse his eyes with a little saline solution that contact lens wearers use but the more experienced may be able to recommend something else and you may still need a vet to prescribe an eye cream.

We use a mixture of tortoise terrain which is like a very dry soil for where he beds down, and straw bedding, (pellet type substrate) we’ve always used this combination and never had issues before...

With regards to the bulb, I’m not 100% sure, it was what was recommended by our local store when we went and queried his size as they said he might need more uv exposure... that was back in October last year I think....
 

Lyn W

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If your uvb bulb looks like any of these then that could be the cause of his eye problem - the shape not the brand
images


I don't have a russian/horsefield but I think I've read that their substrate shouldn't be too dry. I don't think pellets are recommended for any species. but if you check the caresheet that will tell you the best sort to use to get the best humidty for your tort. I'm not sure if you mean you also have straw as well as the pellets but that would be too hard and sharp for torts especially babies and could stick in eyes and cause injury. I still think the best for your tort would be to see a vet to rule out all possibilities - it's no good wishing you'd gone if you lose him.
Many pet shops are remarkably ill informed and give bad out of date advice and often sell unsafe equipment - they are only in it for the profit not the aftercare.
 

Lyn W

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If you post a photo of his enclosure you will get advice on any changes you could make to ensure your tort is as happy and healthy as possible
 

antwillis81

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If your uvb bulb looks like any of these then that could be the cause of his eye problem - the shape not the brand
images


I don't have a russian/horsefield but I think I've read that their substrate shouldn't be too dry. I don't think pellets are recommended for any species. but if you check the caresheet that will tell you the best sort to use to get the best humidty for your tort. I'm not sure if you mean you also have straw as well as the pellets but that would be too hard and sharp for torts especially babies and could stick in eyes and cause injury. I still think the best for your tort would be to see a vet to rule out all possibilities - it's no good wishing you'd gone if you lose him.
Many pet shops are remarkably ill informed and give bad out of date advice and often sell unsafe equipment - they are only in it for the profit not the aftercare.

Thank you so much for your help, I’ve taken him to the vet, they think he has a nasty infection :( it’s not looking good, but we have a 2 week course of antibiotics to give him via injection. Fingers crossed the anti biotics and baths work!! Thanks again
 

Lyn W

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Thank you so much for your help, I’ve taken him to the vet, they think he has a nasty infection :( it’s not looking good, but we have a 2 week course of antibiotics to give him via injection. Fingers crossed the anti biotics and baths work!! Thanks again
Did they xray him to check for stones too?
I hope he gets better soon.
 

TechnoCheese

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Lyn W

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No they said his eyes are really puffy, which is a clear sign of a blood infection apparently. Fingers crossed. Thank you again :)
Maybe @Tom or @Yvonne can confirm that. They are very experienced and may have seen this before.
 

Yvonne G

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No they said his eyes are really puffy, which is a clear sign of a blood infection apparently. Fingers crossed. Thank you again :)
You didn't answer the light question. The compact fluorescent bulbs shown in that picture also cause puffy eyes and have nothing at all to do with infection.
 

antwillis81

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4AA7C230-69A3-4B99-BC52-C79519CDC452.jpeg
You didn't answer the light question. The compact fluorescent bulbs shown in that picture also cause puffy eyes and have nothing at all to do with infection.

Sorry, we don’t have one of those lights... I have taken a picture to give you an idea of what we have
 

Antoni

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Sorry, we don’t have one of those lights... I have taken a picture to give you an idea of what we have
I saw from above that you feed it mixed salad. Make sure that ut is edible for it. I almost made a mistake of feeding my tort spinach which is not good for then and can cause stones and for tort to not absorb calcium properly. Right before i fed them the spring mix i checked the back for the contents. Close call, warm soak helps. U can also try a warm soak with organic carrot baby food 50:50 ratio thst worked for my sully. Good luck!!
 

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